Good Friday

On this day w
e journey with Christ on the way to the cross.Obviously you will want to start your day with a Hot Cross Bun  - join Mother Ruth in making them here 



Stations of the Cross

Traditionally we walk the stations of the cross and stop at each one to ponder and pray.  This year you can join us live for a Service of poems, prayers and images as we walk the way of the cross together on-line.  Zoom Service of the Stations of the Cross begins at noon on Friday 10th April   

https://zoom.us/j/985494443 . 

You can download the order of service here.



Service for Good Friday 

At 1:30 pm there will be a service of veneration of the cross which you can join, again via Zoom, on https://zoom.us/j/157913623. 

You can able to download the order of service here.

 


Good Friday is also the day on which we would usually build our Easter Garden in church.  Hopefully you have been building yours at home and sending your photos into our Facebook page on
https://www.facebook.com/events/516364012574743/

There are prizes for the most beautiful and the most inventive.  Here is one of the current contenders, a gingerbread Easter Garden. 


You can download the readings, sermon, stations of the cross sonnets and poems here. 


Friday 10th April 2020

Good Friday

 

Today we commemorate Good Friday, a day that marks the Passion, crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. Good Friday is the start of the Easter weekend which in Christianity, is regarded the most momentous weekend in the history of the world. On this day, God demonstrated how much he loved us through His only son, Jesus, who willingly made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of our sins.

 

Readings

Isaiah 52.13 - 53.12

See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. Just as there were many who were astonished at him - so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of mortals - so he shall startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which had not been told them they shall see, and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.

Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account.

Surely, he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By a perversion of justice, he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people. They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the Lord shall prosper. Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore, I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

 

John 18:1-19:42

Jesus Arrested

18 When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it.

2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”

5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.

“I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

7 Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?”

“Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.

8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9 This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”

10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)

11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”

12 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him 13 and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.

 

 

Peter’s First Denial

15 Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, 16 but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the servant girl on duty there and brought Peter in.

17 “You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” she asked Peter.

He replied, “I am not.”

18 It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.

 

The High Priest Questions Jesus

19 Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.

 

Sermon

As a church, we try to respond to whatever challenges there are, and try to help wherever help is needed - Holy Spirit is in the heart of its community, providing hospitality and outreach and welcome. It is so alien that we must gather like this. Geographically close, but as separate as though we were on different continents, in different time zones. I realise there are people who knew that it was almost inevitable that eventually something like this would happen - epidemiologists, medics, statisticians, some of the media, some politicians. But it was news to me. I remember when in the late 2000s for a while we had to suspend the use of the common cup because of SARS - not to underplay the danger of that outbreak, but it feels like looking back on a different age. We felt a sense of loss because we could not receive the blood of Christ from a shared chalice? But we still could gather.

If you are like me, you look back and think something along the lines of how we didn’t know we were born. I was really late in getting this order of service to Lilly, Nick, Martin, Paula and Ruth. I’m really sorry. They and others have taken this unprecedented challenge totally in their stride and are doing sterling work. I have to be completely honest with you - there is part of me that hoped and was capable of believing that it would all just go away. While writing a sermon is a familiar thing, writing a liturgy for use online is utterly alien. In a way, I was probably hoping it was all just a bad dream.

Lent, Holy Week and Easter are viscerally characterised by material things, and by touch. Ash on your forehead, feet that are washed. The cross that is kissed. Bread that is broken, wine that is outpoured. But now we are removed from that stuff.

On Ash Wednesday - which seems so long ago now, doesn’t it – printed inside the front cover of the service sheet there was a blessing that spoke about “All those days You felt like dust Like dirt As if all you had to do Was turn your face toward the wind And be scattered to the four corners Or swept away By the smallest breath As insubstantial …”. We are indeed scattered, in a way that we could not have foreseen. We are probably mostly close, as the crow flies, yet we are separated. Our lives for now at least are significantly changed. The prolonged emptiness in which we find ourselves has been likened to Holy Saturday. The day on which nothing happens. The day of desolation and despair.

 

But we still can stand vigil with the crucified Christ, as we separate ourselves from one another. Last Sunday evening, after some people had chosen not to abide by the practice of staying home, I saw that someone on Twitter had said this: “I’m bored, and lonely as hell, but I’m going to stay home anyway.” And in a way it occurs to me now, what is that but to stand vigil with the suffering Christ?

Bishop Christopher preached yesterday from the chapel at Bishop’s House, to the clergy of the diocese. He spoke about a re-setting of our lives during and because of the circumstances in which we find ourselves. And this gave me pause: no-one chose for this to happen. But we can choose how we respond, in our inner lives, and afterwards, I hope, in society at large. We are living in a locked down, constrained set of circumstances. Conversely, can we also be open hearted and open minded? It is Good Friday, I know, but I return again to the Gospel for Ash Wednesday, in which Jesus is asked shouldn’t the woman who has committed adultery be stoned to death. He chooses to pause; bending down to write in the dust. We are forced to pause. After the 9/11 terror attacks on the World Trade Centre, Rowan Williams (who was in New York when the attacks happened) wrote a reflection on those terrible events called Writing in the Dust, in which he says: “After the 11th, what are we prepared to learn? That’s the question to which I keep returning … that question remains for all of us. I’m not a detached observer, any more than you are. We need, God knows, time and opportunity to grieve; but time and opportunity also to ask whether anything can grow through this terrible moment. I hope the answer is yes.” Amen


Poem

Still

 

This day

let all stand still

in silence,

in sorrow.

 

Sun and moon

be still.

 

Earth

be still.

 

Still

the waters.

 

Still

the wind.

 

Let the ground

gape in stunned

lamentation.

 

Let it weep

as it receives

what it thinks

it will not

give up.

 

Let it groan

as it gathers

the One

who was thought

forever stilled.

 

Time

be still.

 

Watch

and wait.

 

Still.

 

Jan Richardson ‘Circle of Grace’

Ċ
Church Office,
8 Apr 2020, 10:01
Ċ
Church Office,
10 Apr 2020, 05:03